We started with some rice paper rolls, because I love fresh rice paper rolls. I skipped the dipping sauce, though. It was too chili for me!
For drinks Ashleigh had their Lemon Lime & Bitters and I had the Taro Frappe. I get so excited when I find vegan taro drinks, they are purple and they taste like cookies. So good.
Ashleigh had the Bamboo Noodle Soup (which is what I had last time, though she had to get it gluten free so it didn't have the different mock meats in it). And I had the pho. These are both huge and delicious bowls of steaming hot and tasty soup. So big that we couldn't quite finish them! But they were good, so we pushed it as far as we could.
We waddled home with full tummies, but still managed to have a bed dessert picnic while watching some RuPaul Drag Race season 1. We had a GF Chocolate Strawberry Brownie from Smith & Deli (so good, they make the best fruity brownies) and a slice of GF Apple Berry Pie from Fatto A Mano (adqueate, nice tart filling but the pastry was so so).
For Sunday morning breakfast, I tried somewhere new. We headed out to Little River Cafe in Brunswick for breakfast with Leigh. I started with a quite nice soy chai.
They were launching their new menu that morning, and had a special of vegan waffles with ice cream, peanuts and chocolate syrup. Leigh braved this, along with a side of hash browns. But she reported that it was way too sweet for her (she suspected as much, but was lured by the waffles anyway). For morning sweet tooth lovers only!
I ordered the pancakes, which came with ice cream and berries. And I got a side of hash browns and a side of vegan bacon. I was excited about the ice cream because they told me it was soy based, however when it came it was clearly coconut based. And the sort of gross too fatty coconut type, so I had to scrape it off. But the pancakes were good, and the hash browns were good. The bacon was OK, though I just don't love vegan mock bacon, I am a tempeh bacon girl forever.
Ashleigh had the Hash Brown Wrap with tofu, which she said was good but needed more sauce.
After brunch, Ashleigh and I headed into the city to see Kinky Boots. It was a lot of fun! To sustain ourselves, we picked up a couple of sushi rolls from a place in the city. No photos. They were just OK sushi. But it got us through the afternoon.
That night we had a truly special dinner at the recently opened Transformer in Fitzroy. This is a fancy place, with fancy food! We requested the vegan and GF 'Feed Me' option, which is $45 and they bring you several dishes to try. The only downside was that they took our menus away quite quickly after confirming this, so I didn't get a chance to notice the fun non-alcoholic and non-fizzy drinks they had. Oh well, water is always good.
The first dish was Organic Popcorn with Japanese Spiced Sea Salt and Nori. Normally I am not a fan of popcorn, except for that sweet and salty stuff that I can never seem to put down. But this was delicious. Wonderfully seasoned, and without that annoying texture that normally turns me off popcorn.
This was followed up by an Artichoke and White Bean Dip with Caperberries, and a truly excellent GF flatbread for dipping. Of course, as always, we wished there was more bread!
The Mozarella, Zucchini, Mint and Pea Salad with Currant Puree was refreshing, with the creamy mozarella and the sweet currants. My tummy can be a bit iffy with raw zucchini (zoodles are a no go in my household), but they managed it perfectly.
The Steamed Broccolini with Pumpkin Seeds, Barberries, Saffron infused feta, and Pecans was OK. I didn't think the flavours worked together as well as some of the other dishes. Plus they had made it quite oily.
The Cumin-Braised Eggplant, Chermoula, Smoked Labneh, Quinoa Crisps and Mint was amazing yet problematic. The eggplant was divine, it just kind of melted in your mouth. Beautiful. And the crisps were fun as well. However the sauce was really just too spicy for both of us (even though I had been assured at the start that there was nothing in that night's feed me menu that was very spicy). I scraped off the sauce for the eggplant underneath, but it was spicy.
My favourite dish of the night was the Three Rice Pilaf with Lentils, Chickpeas, Pomegranate and Fried Onions. I loved the crunchy texture and the sweetness of the onions and the tartness of the pomegranate seeds. I could have eaten a huge bowl of this.
Of course we had to try their desserts (not included in the price of the feed me menu). Only two of their desserts were vegan, and only one of those was also GF for Ashleigh. So she had the Warm Chocolate Brownie, Salted Coconut Ice Cream, Cherry Gel and Hazelnut Ganache. This was incredibly rich, I tried a bit. The coconut ice cream was of course way too coconut fatty for me, but I scored a lot of her cherry gel which I enjoyed.
I know you are confused as to why I also didn't get the above dessert, I am not shy about my love for cherry and chocolate. However I (rightly) suspected that the coconut ice cream would be gross for me. Also, I was intrigued by the other vegan dessert. Pistachio Cake with Saffron Poached Pear, Star Anise Meringue, Almond, and Lemon Thyme Sorbet just sounded too different and interesting to pass up! It was really good (and the sorbet was refreshing and not coconut fatty at all, though they put it on the side for me just in case). I especially loved the poached pear.
Transformer was a really delightful experience, and I would highly recommend it to everyone. I would like to go back sometime and order off the menu itself, because there are lots of yummy things on there.
One more Melbourne post to go! Then I will get to Christmas.
Cute Kitty Photo of the Post: Sahara Update
Someone decided to pull out some sutures, and so is now wearing the neck tutu. Sahara's final results came back, confirming that the mass in her colon is indeed lymphoma. As I mentioned, this is the 'best' sort of cancer to have, out of a bunch of shitty options. But obviously it is still cancer, and I am devastated that my little bear has this going on inside of her. We can't take out her stitches until the 25th, and will be starting her first week of chemo then. I really hope it works.